St. Louis County needs to rethink transportation priorities

Civic CenterSt. Louis County needs to rethink its potential investment in the South County Connector and consider transit instead. New, unwanted roadway construction wastes precious state dollars and diverts attention and resources away from the more sustainable transportation options in which the region has already invested. St. Louis County Executive Dooley needs to seriously consider withdrawing the DEIS and allocate the County’s ‘extra’ transportation monies toward the improvement of our public transit system, already seeing record demand across the region.

• MetroLink has proven to be an invaluable tool for lessening traffic congestion, improving air quality, and improving connectivity throughout the region.

• The region invested millions of local dollars in the Cross County Light Rail extension, making the South County Connector a duplicative and unnecessary project.

• Several studies show that road capacity is filled within 5 years of its construction, making it a poor solution to congestion in the region.

• Metro is already planning state of the art rapid transit services in the county, a less costly and more efficient transportation solution for the region.

• The Draft Environmental Impact Study used traffic modeling data from 2002, which does not incorporate data from the Cross County Light Rail extension completed in 2006. The assumptions informing the study are out of date and do not reflect the changing demographic and transportation trends of the region.

At a cost of $110 million dollars, St. Louis County would be better served by transit investment, usage, and service than it would by the proposed South County Connector.

CMT joins Trailnet, the Mayor of Maplewood and other elected officials in opposition to the proposed project and is encouraging concerned residents throughout the region to contact County Executive Dooley and Councilman Pat Dolan (the majority of the South County Connector would be in Dolan’s district) to withdraw the South County Connector Draft Environmental Impact Study. Transit and other multi-modal alternatives are the region’s solution for the future. Let’s invest in them and ensure that our system becomes a more viable, reliable, and desirable transportation system for the entire community.

Kimberly M. Cella

Executive Director, Citizens for Modern Transit